Capilouto encourages UK to work ‘as we always have’ in face of proposed budget cuts


Photo by Tessa Lighty | Staff

Bailey Vandiver

UK President Eli Capilouto sent a campus-wide email Tuesday in response to Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed two-year state budget.

Capilouto assured the UK community that UK will be advocating for the university throughout the process.

“We will tell our story aggressively and with great pride in you and your efforts,” Capilouto wrote.

Bevin put forth the plan during his State of the Commonwealth Address on Tuesday evening. He proposed a 6.25 percent reduction in UK’s base appropriation from the state, which would take effective July 1, 2018. Capilouto said this equals approximately $16 million for UK.

This proposed cut is in addition to the one percent reduction that Bevin announced in December, Capilouto said.

Bevin also proposed the elimination of 70 mandated programs, as well as “substantially” reducing funding for other programs that are funded by the state but administered by UK and other similar institutions, Capilouto said.

“We are still evaluating the specifics of the proposed cuts, but these direct reductions represent millions of dollars of additional cuts to the University of Kentucky,” he wrote.

This is just the first step in the lengthy process of approving the state budget. Both the House and the Senate of the General Assembly will have to review and pass the budget before it can be considered by Bevin.

“Because of your hard work across our missions of education, research, service, and health care, we have a very powerful story to tell,” Capilouto wrote. “We work hard to be an essential partner for progress for our state.”

Capilouto said that investment in UK is critical for the success of the state.

Capilouto said the UK administration will remain committed to these four principles as work begins on UK’s 2018-2019 budget: 

1. Ensure student access and affordability 

2. Continue our commitment to competitive pay for faculty and staff

3. Plan strategically to prevent across-the-board cuts to maintain and enhance academic quality 

4. Build a community of belonging

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“In the meantime, the most important way to respond to budget challenges is for each of us to continue to do our jobs as we always have — with determination, professionalism, and an appreciation for the difference we make, every day, in the lives of others.”

Capilouto said he would keep the UK community informed throughout the process.